Special Report: Secrets of Siamese Headwear


A new exhibition at Museum Siam unveils how hats and headdresses can indicate the past and present of Thailand – and can erase the landscape boundaries of the ASEAN community, promoting a ‘shared’ cultural root. 

‘Hat Tricks: Secrets under Siamese Headwear,’ a light-headed exhibition is being held at the National Discovery Museum Institute or Museum Siam. It introduces to the audience a historical timeline of headwear cultures in Thailand and the Suvarnabhumi – the term used for Southeast Asia in ancient times.

The exhibition showcases various headdresses found in the region during the course of human history.

S.E.A Write Laureate and Advisor of the National Discovery Museum Institute Chiranan Pitpreecha said that from the spirit masks of pre-historic era to the period of Field Marshall Pibulsonggram’s hat-wearing campaign to build the nation, the headwear have held a significant information of each society and its people in the past.

The ‘Hat Tricks’ exhibition is the Museum Siam’s latest addition to the permanent ‘Account of Thailand’ interactive exhibition. The new displays are installed in its 9 existing galleries.

One of the highlights from ‘Hat Tricks’ is a special documentary and interview on “Chada and the Thainess,” tracing the origins of Thailand’s symbolic headwear and discussing the Lady Gaga’s Chada controversy – of whether the headdress is considered to be a Thai identity.

According to Director of the National Discovery Museum Institute Mr. Rames Promyen, this time-machine like showcase aims to provide a better understanding about the Thai history and its region.

He claimed that with a look-back into cultural backgrounds, people from the ASEAN community can inspect a ‘shared’ point and long-standing cooperation that can further promote an idea of one united nation – and that we are not so different after all.

The ‘Hat Tricks’ exhibition will be held until December 9th this year everyday, except Mondays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Entrance fees for students under 15 years old are 50 baht, Thai adults 100 baht and foreigners 300 baht. For more information, contact 02-2252777, ext. 407 or www.museumsiam.com.